Tag Archives: Lost

Lost. Woah.

Given that I’ve been an absentee blogger for, oh, probably six months (maybe more), it’s fitting that the end of Lost would be just what I needed to hop back on the saddle.  The truth is, I’ve contemplated putting reviews up here for episodes all season, but I’ve found myself far more intrigued by what other folks have to say.  There are tens of people out there, many of whom write more elegantly — and think more complexly — than I.

But with all of the talk these days about what Lost means, and whether the finale will deliver some cosmically awesome wrap-up of answers to fans, it seems only appropriate to weigh in. Not on the whole season. Not on all the meaning.  Just to say a word about what the writers do or do not “owe” us.

I think Jason Mittel gets the closest to expressing how I feel about answers on Lost, in dividing his questions into Outriggers, Mechanicals,  Mythologies, and Plots.  The first we can fill in the gaps for ourselves. The second are really, at the end of the day, not important to our fundamental understanding of the narrative, particularly given that this is a SciFi/Fantasy gambit.  The third and the fourth are more “important,” but only in so far as they explain why things happened on the show the way they did.  He points to what are probably my most hankering questions: what on earth happened with the original Incident in 1977?  And how did Jughead blowing up create the Sideways world? And what about the Island being underwater? I’m paraphrasing here, and imbuing some of my own questions into Mittel’s, but ultimately I feel that without giving us some form of an answer to these questions we are being denied crucial plot points.

However…when I think about the outrigger mystery that inspired the “Outrigger” category of questions, I wonder if I’m barking up the wrong tree.  The reason the outrigger mystery (reminder: while traveling through time in Season 4, Sawyer, Juliet, and co. hopped into an outrigger at the Losties deteriorating beach camp; as they paddled on the sea, a second outrigger, that had been parked at the Losties’ beach camp as well, approached and a gunfight ensued; Juliet shot someone on the second outrigger, and then time shifted; we were never shown who was in that second outrigger, though we determined that the gunfight had taken place in 2007) was so important to fans was because we felt that someone of importance to our narrative on the second outrigger was shot by Juliet.  Damon and Carlton have made clear that they did not feel it was necessary to “close the loop” on this, even though they know who was on the second outrigger. Though irritated at first, I recognize that if the writers and producers of the show don’t feel it’s important to reveal something to us, than it is simply not important.  It doesn’t matter at all who was on that second boat, even if someone was shot, because it has no relevance to our narrative.

Similarly, while at this moment in time I feel it is extremely important that we receive an explanation of how the original Incident played out versus the Jughead Incident (and what happened to the Island in the aftermath of both versions), if, by the end of the series on Sunday night, this isn’t revealed to me, I’ve, in a sense, received an answer: it has no relevance to our narrative.

In the same vein, if we receive no more information about Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore and their motives, how can I be mad? It’s not as if these characters did anything that our writers and producers cannot account for — they exist in the heads of our writers and producers! Their motivations and desires and storylines were laid out for us as much as necessary in order to understand their part in this particular story, as told by our writers and producers.

Which is all to say: I guess I’m beginning to understand why I am satisfied by the answers we’ve gotten when others are not. I’m not here for every bit of the narrative to be fleshed out — only so far as the story is told.  I may wish we knew more about this or that, but I care much, much more about how this all boils down to a satisfying ending for our characters. I have watched this for all these years to see if Damon and Carlton could tell me something about the meaning of the universe, through the allegory of the Island. I’ve watched so they could tell me a story. About people.

I think James Poniewozik has it pretty right, when he defends the right of TPTB to tell the story they want to tell, even if some fans think they are being “arrogant.”  They aren’t telling us the story we want; and if we want to try our hand out writing a “better” story, we’re certainly welcome to. Lord knows there are scary places on the internet where fan fiction flourishes.

But I don’t want to give the impression that I’ve decided we won’t get any answers.  While I don’t think I’ll be mad if answers don’t come in the form I am hoping for, I also think it’s premature — and sad — to lose faith that our writers and producers won’t produce answers.  TPTB have, at times, done a masterful job of closing loops and answering questions.  Remember how bewildered we all were by Richard’s visiting a time-shifting Locke and giving him the instructions about having to die?  That mystery was solved, in a terribly satisfying way.  How we didn’t understand Richard’s visit to Locke as a child? Again, solved beautifully — and not for another two seasons!

In the same way, I expect that we will get more information about what sort of game Eloise was playing throughout the series, and whether she was working with the MIB (or merely being utilized unknowingly).  And whatever happens, I believe we will feel satisfied.  Because we are only being told what we need to be told by those doing the telling. Not more, not less.

All of this said, though, I reserve the right to be disappointed on Sunday night. But I don’t expect that will be the case.

The Good News and the Bad News

The Huffington Post informs me that “The Rachel Maddow Show” is the only cable news show to be nominated for a TV Critics’ Award.  She’s up against “Frontline,” “60 Minutes,” “We Shall Remain” and “The Alzheimer’s Project.”  My hope is that Rachel will take the cake, because what she does on television every night is vastly different than what anyone else is up to.  And I’m proud to say that we’ve been watching her since before she had her own show, and have always been big fans.  More than once I’ve turned to Dave and remarked how unique her programming is.

In the same article about the nominations for TV Critics’ awards I’ve discovered that “Lost” is in the running for Program of the Year.  Hooray! It’s wonderful to see “Lost” being recognized again (it’s been awhile since the Emmy’s came a-calling for the show itself, rather than for just a superb acting), but I’m dismayed to see that one of it’s opponents is “Saturday Night Live.”

Pardon my language, but are you f**king kidding me?  “Saturday Night Live” is mediocre at best, a show that’s only on the air because it’s been around for twenty-five plus years.  It’s consistently obvious that it’s outlived it’s usefulness.  When you have the internet providing a wide array of homegrown shorts and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert mocking the news every night of the week, it’s near impossible for the “SNL” format to really make much news anymore.  The only time they manage to make headlines is when Justin Timberlake guest stars — or their old stars, like Will Ferrel, Tina Fey or Maya Rudolf, do guest impersonations.

Don’t even get me started on Andy Samberg, who appears to have had all of the comedic talent in his bloodstream extracted approximately three years ago.  The first and last hilarious digital short he put together was “Chronicles of Narnia.” Period.  “Laser Cats,” really? “Space Olympics?” Okay, he did “Dick in a Box” but that was with…oh, right…Justin Timberlake.

Even if you think Andy Samberg still retains an iota of comedic talent, and you believe Weekend Update hasn’t been woefully boring for many years, you must, at the least, concede that “Saturday Night Live” in it’s current incarnation doesn’t stand up to seasons past.  Whereas “Lost” has literally been  a game-changing television show — they’ve helped to rewrite what it means to be a TV show with a fan base (J.J. Abrams set up DarkUFO for goodness sake, so his fans could comment), and taken so much excellent science fiction and fantasy literature (from all books, TV, and movies) to put together what is really a phenomenal production.

To compare the two is to criminal.

And as a post script, I’ll add that “Battlestar Gallactica,” “The Shield,” and “Mad Men” have all been critical hits, the latter two also commercial hits, which equally do not deserve to be compared to the crap that is “Saturday Night Live” in 2009.

One additional word about “SNL.” I do mildly appreciate Bill Hader, largely because of a sketch around Halloween in which he pretended to be a vampire holding a Halloween party.  But, if I recall correctly, the best part of that sketch was when Jon Hamm (of the above mentioned “Mad Men” came to the party as an overly flamboyant gay sailor or something like that).

Reality Imitates Art

Well, my thoughts and wishes are with the families of those aboard the now-missing Air France plane that appears to have disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean last night.

But I can’t help but think how Lost-esque this is.  A plane hits turbulence and then disappears into thin air?  They think it crashed into the ocean, but they’re not sure?  So Lost.  Perhaps Charles Widmore has planted a fake of it somewhere and the real survivors are living on a crash island in the Bermuda Triangle.

Lost Season Finale: The Incident

Okay. Here are my filtered thoughts on this episode.  Obviously they need a lot more refining, but it doesn’t make sense to think any more about this without putting it out there.

This was, really, an amazing episode.  It was full of reveals, up to its ears in Island mythology and history, and satisfying in a lot of ways.  However, I think we can all agree that “The Incident” had the unfortunate (and frequent) Lost characteristic of asking as many questions as it answered.  While we finally got to see Jacob (and were able to free him from the million and half theories as to his origins we’ve been cooking up for years now), we also watched him die and were left in the dark about his true purpose, despite getting to see what he’s been up to in our castaway’s past.

Continue reading

Preview: “The Incident”

OMG.

Tonight.  Needless to say the Lost universe is brimming with excitement, and a little sadness, over this penultimate season finale.  Who’s to say what will happen?  I’m leaning toward something in line with Therese Odell’s theory (over at Tubular, see The Blog Log), where the two timelines sync up because they open some sort of pocket of energy. Or something.  Perhaps they call get sent back to 1937, in a twist.

I just feel like there are some things left to do.  Hurely really should record the numbers over a radio transmission (so Sam Toomey and Leonard Nims can hear it during World War II, leading to Hurley’s lottery win, and so forth).  Obviously Juliet, Sawyer, and Kate need to get off the sub (although the preview for the episode really answered that question).

I’m also curious to see what Locke is all about.  It’s looking more and more likely that Richard Alpert is a bad guy.  Holding the Island hostage?  Is Jacob a false god and Locke is there to free the Island and live by its true calling? Or should things stay the way they are and Locke is going to unleash a devilish beast by listening to what the Island is telling him?  I guess it comes down to whether the Island is good or evil, and what side of that divide Richard is on.  All this time we’ve felt strongly that Richard knew inherently the nature of the Island (good) and was doing its bidding (good).  Now, it seems more likely  that the Island is good and Richard is bad or the Island is bad and Richard is good.  Then again, that may be a false dichotomy and I’m barking up the wrong tree.

It seems to me that Richard is of the same nature as a resurrected Locke.  I suspect that he came to the Island dead (on the Black Rock?) and came back to life when the ship crashed on the Island (with first mate Magnus Hanso).  And you can’t age regularly once you’ve been resurrected. . . . But if that were the case, I’d have thought Richard would have been able to recognize Locke’s “purpose” more clearly in “Follow the Leader.”  So maybe Richard is of a completely different nature, something we haven’t seen yet.  But why just him?

And where did Ellie, Widmore, et al. come from?  They’re 17, speaking English with aristocratic British accents, in 1954.  They both manage to reconnect seamlessly (to our knowledge) with the outside world at some point (Widmore we know was exiled in the early 1990s, after the Purge;  Ellie’s departure date is unclear).  So how did they end up on the Island and how did they turn out to be the leaders of the Others? And when did Ellie give birth to Daniel? Post-Island?  That would explain a lot.

For instance, if Jughead is detonated in 1977, does that contribute to the problem the Others have with pregnancy?  The radiation? Or does Jughead not go off in 1977 and so the pregnancy issue is unrelated, either pre-1977 or post? There’s been some speculation that Jughead doesn’t go off until 2004, when Desmond turns the fail safe key (imploding the hatch and launching him into his 1994 consciousness), but I think that’s unlikely. Or not. Who knows.

Whatever happens, I can’t wait.  But as soon as it’s over, we’ll all be waiting — for 10 months.  That’s a depressing rejoinder to all of the excitement and speculation, isn’t it?

Update: I’m working on a long post with theories, etc. But it’s taking a while to gel correctly in my brain.  And I seem to be on the losing side of a lot of post-season theories, so we’ll see.

“Follow the Leader” Redux

Well. I was wrong.  That was most certainly not a Richard Alpert flashback, although Mr. Eyeliner did play a linchpin role in both 1977 and 2008.  Perhaps we have yet to see his origins, in the two hour finale next Wednesday (boo, hiss). But I’m beginning to doubt it.

In any case, the episode sort of left me feeling dull — there was lot going on, but we didn’t learn much.  No big revelations, with the exception of the Locke-Alpert-Lock bullet removal scene. I think. Correct me if I’m wrong.

“Follow the Leader”: Mild Spoiler

Lately, I’ve noticed an uptick in the use of the word “penultimate.” Okay, maybe not in every social circle I frequent, just one: the Lost watching circle.  As it happens, tonight is the “penultimate” episode of Lost’s fifth season. Yay!

I used to think that meant “really, really important,” but as it turns out that’s not correct.  “Penultimate” actually means: next to the last.  So that makes a lot more sense.  Tonight is the next to last episode of the season, titled “Follow the Leader.” I have it on spoilery authority that this title aptly refers to the character whose flashback we’ll finally get a chance to see: Richard Alpert.

Oh. My. God.

Richard Alpert! Will we finally find out why he appears to be ageless?  Why Ben said he no longer remembered birthdays?  Why he always wear a nice pressed shirt and slacks from Banana Republic while the rest of his people run around in rags? Might we see the Black Rock? Magus Hanso? Or perhaps Richard’s been there longer, since the days of the Egyptians and the four-toed statue?

In many ways this episode should fit into my wrong-headed guess at the meaning of “penultimate.”  It will indeed be a “really, really important” look into the Island’s past.  I wish I didn’t know about the Alpert thing, but sometimes the Internet shows you things you do not want to see (no dirty jokes, please).  And you just have to take a deep breath and move on.